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Stanozolol

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

Medications

What is stanozolol?

Stanozolol (brand names: Winstrol®, Menabol®, Neurabol®, Stanol®, Stromba®, Stombaject®) is an anabolic steroid previously used to treat poor appetite, anemia, and other health issues. Studies are limited however, and use is uncommon as it is no longer marketed in the United States. A newer study shows it may be effective in treating tracheal collapse in dogs. It is used in pet animals only; it is not used in farmed animals. This medication is considered a controlled substance.

Although the commercially produced form was FDA approved in dogs, cats, and horses, its current use as a compounded medication in dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles, ferrets, rabbits, and other small mammals to treat weight loss, anemia, poor appetite, and other issues is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

How is stanozolol given?

Stanozolol is given by mouth in the form of a compounded tablet, capsule, or liquid (previously, it was available as an injection for use in the clinic setting). The oral form may be given with or without food; however, if vomiting occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. Measure liquid forms carefully. Pregnant women should NOT handle this medication; if it is necessary, wear gloves and wash hands immediately after administering.

This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 hours; however, effects may not be visibly obvious and therefore laboratory tests may need to be done to evaluate the effectiveness of this medication.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Side effects are not well known in animals as studies are limited. Side effects may include behavior changes, including sexual behaviors, water retention, limb swelling, and prevention of heat cycles. Serious side effects include yellowing of the skin, gums, or eyes, lack of appetite, severe vomiting, weakness, or tiredness.

This moderate-acting medication should stop working in a few days, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Do not use stanozolol in pets that are allergic to it, are pregnant, breeding, or nursing. Use stanozolol cautiously in pets with liver, heart, prostate, or kidney disease, high blood calcium, or diabetes insipidus (not diabetes mellitus). Use this medication with extreme caution in cats.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

The following medications should be used with caution when given with stanozolol: anticoagulants, corticosteroids, or insulin.

Stanozolol also interacts with the following lab tests: thyroid, creatinine, creatine, sugar/glucose, and liver function.

Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

Hydration, electrolyte status, liver enzymes, blood cell counts, weight and appetite may be monitored. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working. Monitor your pet at home for serious side effects.

How do I store stanozolol?

Store this medication according to the instructions on the label. In general, store at room temperature and protect from light.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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